All schools are not the same. It’s a bit wordy but year after year, conversation after conversation you get to see that, because no two children, adults, classes or teams of people are the same, every school is unique. Each school has it’s own quite distinct culture and ethos as a result of both its constituent parts and the agreed approach to doing what it does. To be clear, it’s not as simple as good or bad, better and worse and it’s not about league tables; it’s about what a school stands for and what its culture looks and feels like and the impact it has on every child.
So what is The Dell really like? What are our values? How have we shaped ‘the way we are’ and how will this bring about the very best in every child who comes through our doors every day?
We believe that every child is different and each has his or her own interests, aspirations, strengths, understanding of the world and ambitions. While ‘national’ programmes of learning and yearly expectations of ‘normal’ are never going to go away, we try to recognise and encourage each child to be themselves and to find what they’re really good at. National initiatives and curriculum frameworks change every few years; values and the core purpose of schools are pretty much cast in stone. Rightly, literacy and numeracy will always be at the core of any good school; without these vital life skills, children will become disadvantaged adults and never have the chance to reach their potential. However we believe passionately that to thrive, humans need care, support, guidance, mentoring, exposure to role models and a sense of ‘wow’ about the amazing world around them, near and far.
Our school is ‘all about learning’ but it’s also all about leadership. Our successes as a school are down to the adults who work here and no single person. The old days where headteachers had all the power and made all the decisions in schools are thankfully long gone, at least at The Dell. Good schools can’t become or stay 'good' like that. We share leadership amongst some great people and the mixture of skill, experience, passion and opportunity means that the school runs like (an incredibly busy) well-oiled machine. All the people who work at The Dell are ‘teachers’ and they all see the part they play and the difference they make to the children who leave us at the end of Year 6. Teamwork is a strong feature of The Dell and the camaraderie and peer support is palpable. It's full-on and fast-paced but we believe that driven, passionate staff create happy, driven learners. Whether we're talking about the children or adults in our school, our focus isn't on compliance but on community.
I always say it’s impossible to paint a true picture of the colour, breadth and day-to-day experience of the school using black words on white paper and because we really want to showcase all the achievements of our pupils (and staff) we’ve developed our very interactive and colourful website www.dell.monmouthshire.sch.uk and our social media platform www.twitter.com/thedellschool. Have a look and keep coming back for daily updates on the huge range of opportunities our children have and the successes they achieve.
While The Dell is the largest primary school in Monmouthshire, I sincerely believe that this brings only benefits to every pupil. Teachers know every child in their care very well and colleagues work exceptionally well sharing information across classes and make sure that every child has every chance to be the best they can be.
Welcome to The Dell!